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n2doc

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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
Number of posts: 45,703

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Patients Get Extreme to Obtain Hepatitis Drug That's 1% the Cost Outside U.S.

This is how far one Express Scripts Holding Co. executive was willing to go to secure inexpensive versions of Gilead Sciences Inc.’s hepatitis C drug Sovaldi, unavailable to U.S. consumers under federal drug import and patent laws.

His plan: Dock a cruise ship flying an Indian flag off the coast of Miami. Stock the ship with versions of Sovaldi sold in India for $83,000 less than the U.S. retail price for 12 weeks of treatment. Ferry U.S. patients to the boat and send them home with the potentially life-saving medicines at a huge discount.

The only wrinkle in his plan wasn’t the absurdity of a pharmacy benefit manager manning and operating a cruise ship full of drugs from India. The problem, after doing some quick research into the idea, was that it would probably violate U.S. drug re-importation laws that limit the value of drugs brought into the country to $1,500 -- the price of one and a half Sovaldi tablets in the U.S., said Steve Miller, chief medical officer at Express Scripts, who came up with the idea.

“I was trying to be as creative as possible,” Miller said in an interview. “This is what the market is demanding, this level of creativity that almost borders on the ridiculous.”

Miller quickly dropped the drug boat scheme, but he says he is still searching for creative ways to save money on the $84,000 Sovaldi, which Express Scripts stopped covering for many patients this year because of the cost. He isn’t alone. A cottage industry of drug distributors, medical tourism agencies and consultants is emerging to offer patients in the U.S. and other developed countries cheap copies of Sovaldi from countries where it is sold for 1 percent of the U.S. price.

more
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-01/hepatitis-cruise-india-trips-among-plans-to-save-on-1-000-pill

Just wait, the TPP will end this. You WILL give big pharma ALL of your money. Or Die.

The ridiculous non-candidate charade

t might look like a duck and quack like a duck. But until it formally announces that it is a duck, don’t even think about calling it a duck, let alone holding it to any duck-related rules and regulations.

Such is the ridiculous state of our presidential non-campaign campaigns.

Take, for instance, Jeb Bush’s non-candidacy candidacy. Bush hasn’t held public office in more than eight years, but for some mysterious reason he recently hired a team of public policy advisers. He has delivered speeches and met with voters in key early primary and caucus states such as New Hampshire, Iowa and Nevada. He’s given interviews about everything from Social Security to gay marriage to National Security Agency surveillance. He has also reportedly raised something like $100 million for Right to Rise, the super PAC he founded.

Right to Rise is expected to politic in support of a to-be-determined presidential candidate whose name is widely rumored to rhyme with Shmeb Shmush. But alas, even as the money spigot gushes, no such candidate has materialized. Apparently Silicon Valley isn’t the only place where you can raise millions of dollars without actually having a product.

Right to Rise has no candidate to promote because Bush maintains that he can’t decide whether he wants to become the next Decider. Honest to goodness!

more
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-hypothetical-un-candidates-for-president/2015/06/01/da06bd58-0892-11e5-a7ad-b430fc1d3f5c_story.html

Hog Farmer, Ag-Gag Bill Sponsor Illegally Dumps 800,000 Gallons of Sh*t

by Sarah Von Alt - June 1, 2015
Tennessee representative Andy Holt, former hog farmer and sponsor of the state’s failed ag-gag bill, created quite a stink when he dumped 800,000 gallons of pig manure into the streams and fields surrounding his hog farm. Holt’s lagoons were apparently overflowing with waste and Holt’s response was simply to dump the waste in the waters and lands nearby, with no regard for the environment or the law.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently sent a letter to Holt indicating that absent good cause it would take formal civil enforcement action against him. According to a Memphis news source, Tennessee state officials were considering taking action against Holt at the time this happened, but were “discouraged by upper management” from doing so.

Holt’s disregard for the environment should come as no surprise. He was the main sponsor of a controversial ag-gag bill to prevent whistleblowers from documenting animal cruelty and criminal activity in Tennessee’s factory farms and slaughterhouses. That bill ultimately failed. Clearly, Holt’s staunch backing of that bill was more self-serving than it may have seemed.

This story makes clear what so many of us already knew: factory farmers blatantly disregard the environment and the animals they abuse and neglect to make a profit. To make matters worse, they’re fighting tooth and nail to hide it.

more
http://www.mfablog.org/hog-farmer-ag-gag-bill-sponsor-illegally

Tuesday Toon Roundup 3: The Rest

Kansas





Corporate Revolution





Gellar



Driving




Jenner







Education







FIFA








RIP


Tuesday Toon Roundup 2: GOP and Primaries

GOP





















2016








Tuesday Toon Roundup 1- Spies and Privacy












Hedge Fund Billionaire Tells Hillary Clinton to Cut the 'Crap'

In the early days of Hillary Clinton's latest presidential campaign, hedge fund managers have taken it on the chin.

“There’s something wrong when hedge fund managers pay lower tax rates than nurses or the truckers that I saw on I-80 as I was driving here over the last two days,” Clinton declared in mid-April as she campaigned in Iowa.

“People aren’t getting a fair shake. Something is wrong when CEOs earn more than 300 times than what the typical American worker earns and when hedge fund managers pay a lower tax rate than truck drivers or nurses,” she repeated a month later when she returned to the state.


Now, one such manager is firing back.

"I don't need anybody crapping all over what I do for a living," Leon Cooperman, the billionaire founder of the Omega Advisors hedge fund told CNN on Monday, adding that she 'hangs out with all these people in Martha's Vineyard and in the Hamptons and then the very first thing she has to say is to criticize hedge funds."

more

http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-06-01/hedge-fund-giant-tells-hillary-clinton-to-cut-the-crap-

Bernie Sanders: A Man With a Cause

BY JOHN CASSIDY


Six days after formally entering the 2016 Presidential race, Senator Bernie Sanders is having some time of it. After attracting overflow crowds at a number of stops in Iowa late last week, Sanders moved on to Minnesota on Sunday, where he appeared at the Minneapolis American Indian Center and declared, “Our country belongs to all of our people and not just a handful of billionaires.” According to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, about three thousand people turned out. A local television station estimated the number of attendees at four thousand.

Whatever the exact number was, the seventy-three-year-old from Vermont appears to be attracting bigger crowds than any other candidate, Democrat or Republican. With one recent national survey finding that fifteen per cent of likely Democratic voters support him, and a new Des Moines Register poll showing him picking up sixteen per cent of the Democratic vote in Iowa, the media is starting to accord him some serious attention. The Times, having initially failed to report Sanders’s formal announcement of his candidacy in its print edition, ran a front-page story on Friday about his appeal to senior citizens, and another piece over the weekend about the enthusiastic reception he was receiving in Iowa. Before speaking in Minneapolis on Sunday, Sanders appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where he highlighted the “grotesque level of income and wealth inequality” in the U.S. and said, “I think we need a political revolution in this country.”

To be sure, not all of the Sanders coverage has been helpful to his campaign. Last week, Mother Jones, as an accompaniment to an interesting piece about his early years in left-wing politics, reprinted an article he wrote in 1972 for an alternative newspaper called the Vermont Freeman, the subject of which was male and female power relations, and sexual fantasies. One line in particular got quite a bit of media attention, including an explainer by NPR’s Danielle Kurtzleben. “A woman enjoys intercourse with her man—as she fantasizes being raped by 3 men simultaneously,” Sanders wrote. On “Meet the Press,” the host, Chuck Todd, asked the senator about the piece. Sanders described it as fiction, adding, “It was dealing with gender stereotypes, why some men like to oppress women, why other women like to be submissive. You know, something like ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’ Very poorly written, forty-three years ago.”

While it is embarrassing to Sanders, the flap about his literary effort, which he wrote while trying to get by as a carpenter and freelance journalist, seems unlikely to have much lasting effect on his campaign. That’s partly because Sanders’s run for the White House isn’t based on his personal character, or even his record as a mayor, congressman, and U.S. senator. Sanders is running for a cause—a resurgent progressivism that was conceived during decades of wage stagnation and rising inequality, born during the great financial crisis of 2008, and announced on the political stage by the street protests of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the widespread public support they engendered.

more

http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/bernie-sanders-a-man-with-a-cause

If you’re hiding under your bed in terror, you’ve just found your presidential candidate

Acting on the time-tested theory of presidential candidacies known as “Why the hell not?”, Senator Lindsey Graham joined the 2016 GOP contest today. And right from the outset, after thanking folks for coming and saying he’s running, Graham got to his candidacy’s central rationale:

I want to be president to protect our nation that we all love so much from all threats foreign and domestic.

So get ready. I know I’m ready.

I want to be president to defeat the enemies trying to kill us, not just penalize them or criticize them or contain them, but defeat them.

Ronald Reagan’s policy of “peace through strength” kept America safe during the Cold War. But we will never enjoy peaceful co-existence with radical Islam because its followers are committed to destroying us and our way of life. However, America can have “Security through Strength.”


If you think about it, that almost sounds like Graham is saying that Reaganism isn’t enough, a disturbing hint of heresy. Since we can’t have peace, Graham implies, we might as well just get ready for war.

And unless his entire career has been a ruse, that’s exactly what we’d get with a Lindsey Graham presidency. You thought George W. Bush liked to play on Americans’ fears to justify military action? Well that was nothing. Lindsey Graham has never met a foreign policy challenge that didn’t terrify him down to the marrow of his bones. Let the other candidates treat voters like children, telling them that there are serious threats to America that must be confronted. Only Lindsey Graham has the courage to look voters in the eye and say forthrightly: terrorists are coming to kill your children, unless Iran gets to them first and incinerates them in a nuclear blast.

more
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/06/01/if-youre-hiding-under-your-bed-in-terror-youve-just-found-your-presidential-candidate/?hpid=z3

How Bobby Jindal Broke the Louisiana Economy

BY STEPHANIE GRACE


These are not happy times in Baton Rouge, where government officials are desperately trying to plug a $1.6 billion budget shortfall. But even by that standard, Wednesday, April 22, was particularly fraught.

In the imposing state capitol that Huey Long built, the Senate Finance Committee was wrestling with a complicated cost-cutting scheme to repeal an inventory tax that businesses pay to local governments and that the state rebates to the businesses, all while promising to somehow make stressed-out local leaders whole.

Just down the road, Louisiana State University President and Chancellor F. King Alexander said that the state’s flagship university, which could lose 80 percent of state funding after years of already deep cuts, was developing a worst-case scenario plan for financial exigency—basically, the academic equivalent of bankruptcy.

n the midst of it all came a message from Republican Governor Bobby Jindal, whose policies and priorities have contributed mightily to the state’s fiscal mess.

“Help wish my friends Willie, Phil and Si a happy birthday,” said the tweet, which was accompanied by a photo of Willie Robertson, whose family is featured on the popular homegrown reality TV show Duck Dynasty. It then directed readers to the website for the American Future Project, a 527 advocacy group that Jindal has set up in advance of his anticipated presidential run.

If the tweet suggests a stunning disconnect from the dire budget situation that’s unfolding on his watch, well, that’s how it is these days.

more

http://www.newsweek.com/how-bobby-jindal-broke-louisiana-economy-337999
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